Gameday: Amerks Make Playoffs with Win, Taffe Called Up, Hartlieb In, What about Johnson

The Amerks are on the road tonight to play the Grand Rapids Griffins and a win would clinch a playoff spot for the Amerks. Ever since last season ended the coaches and returning players have said their goal was to make the playoffs and that will happen. Even if it’s not clinched tonight, it will happen.

Grand Rapids has been in or near last place for most of the season but they always play hard and will not be an easy task for the Amerks. Just like every other game, if they play for 60 minutes and can stay out of the penalty box they should win. The mystery is not ever knowing which nights that will happen

The Florida Panthers called up Jeff Taffe for their game tonight against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo. Booth, Campbell, Bitz and Olesz are all out with injuries. The Panthers season is done, they are not making the playoffs, why couldn’t they have just called up Andrew Sweetland? Let’s hope that next season they can remain a healthier bunch.

Ernie Hartlieb has been called up from the Florida Everblades to play in his place. Hartlieb has played very well with the Blades this season and also when he has played in an Amerks sweater. But with three vets now out of the lineup (Taffe, Fitzpatrick, Roy) why not bring Steiner back as well? What do I know I guess.

As Kevin O mentioned on his blog, it’s strange that Jamie Johnson has not been called up once this season. Johnson is the Amerks leading scorer with 24 goals and 42 assists. He has also been a top 10 scorer in the AHL for just about the whole season as well. I have a feeling he’s this years version of Janis Sprukts. Was offered a good two way deal, expected to at least get a look in the NHL, has worked hard, but was neve given a thought.